No need for herd limits Danish pig producers have won an important moral victory in their battle against tough environmental rules that effectively cap output. After years of intense lobbying by the industry, senior ministers in the coalition government have come round to the idea that there's no need to limit the number of animals produced on a farm ­ so long as strict rules on slurry disposal are still met. In particular, the politicians appear to support the idea of farmers using technology to make better use of the slurry ­ such as through gas generation. As yet, these systems are prohibitively expensive. But Danske Slagterier officials argue that if farmers are allowed to produce more pigs on their farms, they would have a big incentive to invest in such technology and this demand would eventually result in cheaper kit. Although politicians have been making positive noises in recent weeks, no concrete proposals have been tabled. And with prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen's decision to call a general election, the situation in Denmark will remain unclear for months. But Anne Birgitte Lundhold, managing director of Danske Slagterier, is cheered by the positive signals coming from ministers which she said represented a "100% turnaround in the political debate" surrounding pig farming in Denmark. Pig production has risen sharply in the past two years partly because farmers have grown their businesses before the environmental rules ­ and their attendant limits on herd sizes ­ fully come into force. Output rose by 5% to 1,835,000 tonnes this year, and is expected to rise by a similar amount in 2002. {{MEAT }}